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Study highlights risks of feeding a raw meat diet
"The results obtained in this study show that it is highly important to handle RMBD carefully."
Raw dog foods found to contain high levels of bacteria

The potential health risks of raw meat-based diets (RMBD) to both animals and humans have been highlighted in a new study.

A paper published in Vet Record, concludes that dogs in families with young or immunocompromised individuals should not be fed RMBD, as these groups are more susceptible to infections.

In the study, researchers analysed frozen samples from 60 RMBD from 10 different manufacturers. According to the labels, the products originated from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and the UK.

Unlike processed pet foods, the samples had not undergone any drying or heat treatment before freezing.

The researchers found that all 60 samples contained enterobacteria, with 31 of these samples exceeding the threshold set by EU regulations (5,000 bacteria per gram).

They also found that two of the samples contained levels of C.perfringens that exceeded the maximum level permitted by Swedish National Guidelines (5,000 bacteria per gram).

Furthermore, four of the samples contained salmonella - a figure that was higher than the researchers expected - and three of the samples contained campylobacter.

“The results obtained in this study show that it is highly important to handle RMBD carefully and to maintain good hygiene, due to the potential risks these feeds pose to human and animal health,” say the researchers.

“The RMBD should be kept frozen until used, thawing should take place at a maximum of 10°C and the thawed product should be separated from human food and handled with separate kitchen equipment, or with the equipment properly washed after use.”

The researchers note that dogs should not be fed RBMD while they are being treated with antimicrobials as this could increase the risk of resistant strains been selected and multiplying.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish National Veterinary Institute. 

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.